In the 17th century, tea was first introduced to Britain from the East Indies by the Dutch East India Company who had a monopoly on this trade, as well as some of the spices now in common use. As a result, the leaf tea from which the drink was made was an extremely expensive commodity, and so had to be appropriately stored and safeguarded. The tea caddy was devised for this purpose.
The first tea caddies, sometimes called tea canisters, as they were only single compartment vessels, were often of silver, and bottle shaped with a removable top that could more...
A substance made by combining mashed paper with glue and other hardening agents, so that, when dry, it can be cut, shaped and even carved. Invented in the 18th century, papier mache was at first used for small items such as snuffboxes and fans. With an improvement in techniques, it was used in the second quarter of the 19th century for a variety of household furnishings chairs, small tables, fire screens, coal scuttles, trays, inkstands and so on. It was frequently gilded and painted with flowers, fruits and rather sentimental scenes, and commonly inset with mother-of-pearl to achieve more...
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